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Executive Director’s Message
QNRF PR

Executive Director’s Message

Importance of research in dealing with a global crisis

Dear Readers,
Welcome to the fourth edition of the QNRF’s newsletter, “Research Matters”. The speed with which the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading is quite alarming and has exposed our unpreparedness and fragility on a global level to deal with a crisis of such magnitude. Needless to say, the impact of the virus has penetrated every sector of our society and has serious implications that call for robust, evidence-based policies to be enacted, as well as the formulation of better mitigation strategies in dealing with the coronavirus and protecting the communities most vulnerable to it.
To develop the kind of effective policies and strategies needed to mitigate the impact of this pandemic, a concerted effort based on a multidisciplinary approach is required. As the region’s leading research funding agency, we are making huge efforts through our programs and initiatives to help our country and its institutions put up a better fight against COVID-19 and better prepare ourselves for the challenges lying ahead.
As part of these efforts, QNRF is proud to have launched the Rapid Response Call (RRC). The RRC is designed to support researchers and policymakers in Qatar in devising rapid solutions based on research, development, or innovation to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. These efforts are focused on several different areas within Qatar, including the economy, society, cultural life, business and industries, and the physical and psychological wellbeing of citizens and residents. Through this initiative, we aim to build the capabilities of our institutions and better equip them to make informed decisions when tackling these challenges as they emerge.
Moreover, we are aware of the challenges and constraints that our researchers and QNRF-awarded institutions are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are taking special measures to accommodate them. To that end, we have created a special section on the website to provide information and guidance to our awarded researchers who are affected by the measures taken in response to COVID-19, whether in Qatar or internationally. This section also includes a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions page that I suggest all our researchers visit. Meanwhile, we will be streamlining the themes of the next NPRP cluster track to address the long term effects of COVID-19 on our lives by focusing on the Emergency, Risks, Preparedness, Resilience, and Response elements.
In terms of events and activities, this month has been quite busy at QNRF as we transitioned to a virtual mode of working. Our month began with an online Research Outcome Seminar on the timely topic of infectious diseases and the impact of COVID-19, where researchers and policymakers shared their research on the topic with relevance to the region. Similarly, we also decided to hold our annual UREP competition virtually to celebrate our student researchers by featuring the presentations in an online exhibition open to the public.
Furthermore, we remain fully committed to implementing QNRF’s annual business plan, including the design, development, and launch of new calls for all its funding programs, as well as the evaluation of the proposals submitted by reverting to virtual peer review panels.
Lastly, I wish all of you the best of health and urge you to comply with the directives from the government to ensure our collective safety, and play your part in our fight against this pandemic.
 

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